The Regional Development Council (RDC) VI tackled the State of the Region Address (SORA), the Regional Development Plan (RDP) of Western Visayas for 2017-2022, and RDC’s budget during the first quarter meeting of the Council last March 30 at the RDC Conference Hall, NEDA-VI Office, Iloilo City.
The SORA report was delivered by the RDC’s Acting Chairperson and Regional Director Ro-ann A. Bacal of the NEDA Regional Office (NRO) VI. According to the report, the following are indicators of the region’s steadily growing economy: (a) the 8.3 percent gross regional domestic product or GRDP growth achieved in 2015; (b) a decreasing trend in inflation rate for all commodity items from 2.3 percent in 2015 to only 1.9 percent in 2016; and (c) increase in employment rate from 94.6 percent in 2015 to 95.1 percent in 2016.
The Regional Development Plan (RDP) of Western Visayas for 2017-2022, on the other hand, was also approved by the Council. The RDP is in consonance with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, Ambisyon Natin 2040 and Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Based on the RDP, the region targets to have a GRDP growth rate from 9.8 to 11 percent by 2022. To achieve this, the following strategies should be pursued: (a) increase agri-fishery production, productivity and profitability; (b) develop tourism circuits and destinations; (c) pursue of research and development innovations; (d) enhance efficiency of public infrastructure; (e) promote investment, trade and exports; and (f) protect the environment.
Moreover, for the next fiscal year, the Full Council endorsed the total proposed budget of national government agencies and state universities and colleges (SUCs) amounting to PHP73.93 billion. The total budget of PHP66.78 billion will be allocated for 23 nongovernment agencies or NGAs while PHP7.15 billion for SUCs. This was derived from a series of Executive Committee consultation meetings held this month.
To shed light on the budgeting process, Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Luz M. Cantor discussed the key objectives of the Public Expenditure Management that includes fiscal discipline, allocative efficiency and operational efficiency. She also stressed the focus of Duterte’s Administration for a just and disciplined fiscal policy. “This administration’s resource mobilization aims to support infrastructure development including a more reliable transport sector, and basic services. Spending for peace and order and public safety will also increase to uphold the rights of the poorest and weakest in the community, Cantor added.
The various committees then presented their respective reports and resolutions that were fully supported by the Council.
Photo by NRO VI